The Government of Saint Lucia, and the Republic of China (Taiwan), earlier this week signed the action plan to commence the project titled “Enhancing the Efficiency of Production and Distribution Supply Chain in the Fruit and Vegetable Sector.”
The agreement was signed by Ambassador of the Republic of China (Taiwan) in Saint Lucia, His Excellency Douglas C.T. Shen and Hon. Ezechiel Joseph, Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries, Physical Planning, Natural Resources and Co-operatives.
Minister Joseph said Saint Lucia and Taiwan have worked together over the years to successfully implement several agricultural projects.
Ambassador Shen noted the importance of agriculture in Saint Lucia.
“Agriculture is one of the most important industries in Saint Lucia. More than 21 percent of Saint Lucians work in the agricultural sector,” he said. “On the basis of the current Banana Productivity Improvement Project and the Fruit and Vegetable Demonstration and Extension Project, the two governments have decided to cooperate together again to further enhance the capabilities of local farmers and to ensure that their products meet the demand of the domestic market all year round. The project will be executed over a three-year period with a budget of over USD$3 million. The major plan will be focused on strengthening the connection between local farmers and the domestic market by establishing various systems, such as the agricultural information system, farmer certification system and traceability system. Moreover, the project will enhance production and post-harvest processing techniques. We understand that the Government of Saint Lucia has embraced increasing domestic production of fruits and vegetables for import substitution in its agriculture strategies. This new project is well proposed and will be instrumental to meeting this target.”
The overall intention of the project is to improve farmers’ production and harvest processing techniques to further increase their incomes.